Companies are beginning to care more about how they rank socially on the web, than how they rank within Google.

Backs up my thoughts in Walk The Talk

25% of search results for the largest 20 brands in the world, are links to user generated content, not the brand itself. Companies are beginning to care more about how they rank socially on the web, than how they rank within Google."

Will Social Tools lead to a new Enlightenment?

Will social tools like YouTube,Twitter, Facebook, Wikis and Blogging lead to the questioning of the authority of Corporations and lead to a new enlightenment? What will the impact be? How will this transform businesses? How will a company be able to lead the way? What will be the role of marketing? 

There´s way to much focus on conversations without taking into consideration that it is not the self-interested individuals but networks of trust you need to add value to in today´s socialized marketplace. It´s not about tactics, which will never be the key for success, but about leading the way by activating and creating remarkable actions. 

How do you succeed by simply open up for conversation? You need a big ideal, and then use the appropriate preferred tools used by your target group available at the time your operating - be it 2009, 2012 or 2050.

As long as a corporation do not possess a big ideal that leads the way both internal and external, opening up solely for conversations is way too frightening and uncontrollable for those involved and not at least a waste of resources with probably devastating consequences. 

Another issue is the personality to the existing corporations. How is it possible to embrace the socialization of the marketplace without a fundamental change in corporation personality? Unless your´re still talking about how to lure customers all over again...

Hell, I´m all for using social technology to change corporations instead of only trying to reach out to customers. But that my friends, is some challenge where I don´t see any viable and concrete model yet. For any positive disruption coming we need to see a realistic model. I´d say start at the right end. What´s your ideal? Do you have a pulse to do it? 

A new model for the agency of record


Marina City, Chicago

By Bud Caddell -

Last week I was talking with a senior planner at a very large advertising agency. We stumbled onto a conversation about how the recession affected her relationships with clients and what she said deeply troubled me. She said that in order to reduce the cost of their advertising, almost all of her clients cut consumer research from their projects (before anything else). And it wasn’t that clients necessarily expected the research to come free (but I’m sure some do), it’s that they expected the agency to build campaigns and creative without it.

Couple this with the fact that most of my clients and yours can tell you how much product they sold in say, 2004, but most of them can’t definitively say why or how; or quantitatively tell you how each marketing promotion stood up to the other that year (besides dollars spent or some wonky measure of impressions purchased). Yet most clients keep repeating the same promotions and campaigns year to year without knowing this critical bit of information. And even though they need it, clients don’t like to pay for research because it rarely tracks to sales or amounts to anything more than a temporary insight into a narrow swath of their customers.

Obviously, there’s intelligence escaping collection and giant global brands walking around with serious visual impairment. And this ignorance leads many clients and agencies into a race for parity: just build whatever the ad industry is currently buzzing about.

The current AOR model is antiquated. As the needs of the client expand and executions grow fragmented among smaller agencies with more specialized skill-sets, AORs need a new proposition. So I propose a new model for the agency of record, one grounded in data collection and synthesis.

The first priority of this new agency is to entice and collect current and potential customers into a relationship model that uses game mechanics to reward participation, and recognizes and fosters fan behaviors. First and foremost, we must cease the cycle of purchasing temporary audiences.

While customers are interacting with the brand in this way, the agency must sit at the center gathering data. The agency must mature a data model to better compare marketing and advertising executions: one that includes a wide set of data points, from execution costs to consumer interactions, expressions, and engagement. This also means that all creative executions must include a call-to-action and must funnel the user into the relationship model described above.

Every interaction should generate data. Every dollar spent should track to intelligence gathering (and/or sales). And every creative execution should become reasoned experimentation with analysis and results.

As the AOR, this model must be applied to all other agencies working with the brand and therefore must have buy-in at the global level. In some ways, this is just an evolution of the typical AOR relationship: one built on an ever growing knowledge of a client’s business and customers.

Ultimately, the new AOR should deliver on these objectives:

– shaping the model for a sustained customer relationship built on game mechanics, data collection, and an understanding of fan behaviors

– templatizing a data-set for collection/capture for all creative executions across all mediums and applied to all client/agency relationships (this one is admittedly a challenge)

– storing and reporting of data (the AOR becomes the data partner of the brand)

– synthesis of data into actionable marketing executions based on past data and testable hypotheses

– insight into unexplored consumer segments and opportunities for new products


I believe Bud Caddell is pretty much spot on. Basically the partnership between the agency and the client should be more transparent and closer to ensure a more dynamic and realistic fundament for creating what needed to achieve positive results.